Small Cool 2009: gregnewyorkcity's Lighting

Small Cool 2009: gregnewyorkcity's Lighting

Aaron Able
Apr 15, 2009

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Who Lives Here: gregnewyorkcity
Location: Park Avenue South, New York City
Size: 270 square feet

What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home? Lighting the apartment — both through the incredible outside light (I have a corner apartment with two large windows facing north and two (including one in the bathroom) facing east) and by using my photography equipment and very cheap tin-can worklights to light the room (e.g., the photography umbrella in the living room, the light pole in the living room, and especially the photography umbrella in the bathroom (which I cantilevered to hide the horrible bathroom fluorescent light and then backlit it, again with a $5.00 worklight from Home Depot). I love seeing the apartment from the street lit at night.

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What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in furnishing your small home? When I moved in two years ago, I owned virtually nothing, with hardly any funds to furnish the apartment. Practically everything you see in the apartment is either from one of the Housing Works stores (a series of terrific not-for-profit resale/used shops here in NYC) or scavenged off the streets of New York City (for example, that huge beveled mirror in the main room I carried by myself from Gramercy Park — where it had been put out on the street — to my apartment and it weights well over 100 pounds).

And my paint job helped. When I moved in, the apartment had been (good news) freshly painted but with (very bad news) a semi-gloss peachy color, and at night the entire apartment looked like shiny Pepto-Bismol. Now, it's black and white (Janovic photographer's white and a basic flat Benjamin Moore black, and the entryway black is chalkboard paint — fun and useful) and a Benjamin Moore brown, and I painted out the ceiling fan, kitchen cabinets, closet doors, windowsills, and refrigerator in Janovic aluminum paint (great looking — hard to work with as it's oil-based with the consistency of water).

And my photography on the walls — it was in this apartment that I first started shooting photos (first with a webcam as that's all I had, and then with my point and shoot Canon) — and now many of the images on the walls have been in galleries in NYC and elsewhere. If you can't afford anyone else's art, then make your own!

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